Walton conducts Walton – The 1964 New Zealand Tour are historic performances, recorded by The New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation during Sir William Walton’s seven concert New Zealand tour in 1964. The Recording opens with Walton leading God Save the Queen and segues into an impassioned reading of his Violin Concerto. Walton was reportedly ‘overjoyed’ to be working again with the American violinist Berl Senofsky, who had performed the concerto under his baton with the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestras. Partita is next, followed by Walton’s Symphony No. 1. The recording concludes with two short string orchestra pieces from Walton’s historic Henry V film collaboration with Laurence Olivier.
“William Walton’s 1964 tour of New Zealand brings keen enjoyment. Walton’s collaboration with Berl Senofsky in the Violin Concerto is particularly worth preserving, but throughout the set Walton and the NZSO make his music sound new, tart and challenging in a way that even accomplished recent performances have difficulty capturing” – BBC Music Magazine
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Well, it’s nearly half way through the year and I’m in a terrible mess with my challenges.
Reading seven books off the Guardian’s List of Best Books of 2013 went swimmingly until I reached number seven: The Kills. It’s 1002 pages long. What was I thinking?
Reading Bingo is also shaping up to be a bit of a bust – I’ve got five squares crossed off my 25 square grid. And it’s May!
I actually cheated and chose Mary Poppins for both Reading Bingo – “A book that became a movie” and A Year in Reading – “In March read a book that has been made into a movie”. Tragic, but needs must. Now I feel the need to repeat (yes, hysteria is creeping in here) – it’s May and I did not re-read a favourite book from childhood in April. Would Mary Poppins do for that as well?
The only challenge I’m doing O.K. on is reading the 2013 Man Booker shortlist. One of my book clubs thought this would be a good idea so we could then decide if The Luminaries deserved to win.
So far we’ve read We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo and Harvest by Jim Crace. Both books I never would have picked up left to my own narrow devices so perhaps challenges are good for something other than driving me crazy. Both very good books in different ways – how do the Man Booker judges ever decide which is best? Next up is The Testament of Mary – this was the shortest book on the list so of course it had to be the only one I’d already read.
If I was a Man Booker judge what would I think? Actually I’d think “what was I thinking when I took this on?”. I’d have to put aside my opinion that Colm Tóibín is a stone-cold genius because Jim Crace probably is too if Harvest is anything to go by. I’d have to fight my impulse to give the prize to NoViolet Bulawayo for having the best pen-name in the world. Crace has said that Harvest will be his last book. We Need New Names was Bulawayo’s first. The Luminaries is 832 pages long, The Testament of Mary 81. How to compare?
Actually I’ve just realised We Need New Names crosses off a sixth square for Reading Bingo – “A book set on a different continent”. Things are looking up.